Norwegian has been busy today, with the launch of a new route to Rio de Janeiro, whilst changing some of its US long haul destinations – introducing San Francisco and Miami.
Let’s look a the Rio de Janeiro service first, which will be launching in Northern Summer 2019 (Northern Hemisphere). The route is planned to operate four times a week, with a rather complex timetable from Norwegian’s Gatwick Hub.
London Gatwick to Rio de Janeiro (GIG)
DI7501 DEPART LGW 12:00 ARRIVE GIG 19:25 Mondays DI7501 DEPART LGW 11:20 ARRIVE GIG 18:45 Wednesdays and Fridays35 DI7501 DEPART LGW 11:00 ARRIVE GIG 18:25 Sundays
Rio de Janeiro to London Gatwick
DI7502 DEPART GIG 2300 ARRIVE LGW 14:10+1 Mondays DI7502 DEPART GIG 2250 ARRIVE LGW 14:00+1 Wednesdays DI7502 DEPART GIG 0050 ARRIVE LGW 16:00 Saturdays DI7502 DEPART GIG 2225 ARRIVE LGW 13:35+1 Sundays Commences: 31st March 2019 Booked Equipment: Boeing 787-9 Data: AirlineRoute/Norwegian
Norwegian operate their Boeing 787-9’s in a two class configuration, with premium seating (2-3-2) at the front and 3-3-3 economy class seats in the back of the plane. Lead-in prices have start at £239.90 one way and £549.90 one way in Premium.
Welcome San Francisco and Miami
Let’s turn to San Francisco and Miami – two destinations that are served indirectly by Norwegian. The are currently served by Oakland and Fort Lauderdale currently.
San Francisco will be operated as a five times a week service – mapping over the current Oakland service. Meanwhile Miami will go daily from 31st March 2019, replacing the four-times weekly Fort Lauderdale service.
Lead-in prices start at £174.90 one way, and go upwards in Economy Class.
The airline is making the changes for what it calls ” reflects customer demand and the increased cargo capabilities these airports offer Norwegian Cargo.” – indicating that belly freight is becoming an important part of the airline’s picture.
Matthew Wood, SVP Commercial at Norwegian stated:
“We are delighted to meet the strong demand for our transatlantic flights by announcing that Miami and San Francisco will join Rio de Janeiro as part of our summer 2019 flight schedule.
“By also increasing frequency on popular routes next summer, we will provide customers with more choice, smoother connections and exceptional value at affordable fares across Europe, the USA and South America.”
Low Cost Moves doesn’t mean secondary airports
It seems Norwegian are trying a new strategy with these services – firstly, the Rio service will fill the gap that the Singapore service will take (as well as provide a long-term integration possiblity into the airline’s Argentinian operations).
The move to primary airports indicates a small shift. Routes can be broken down into three categories:
- Taking someone from one place of interest to another place of interest (somewhere to somewhere)
- Taking someone from one place of interest to a place that has nothing there (somewhere to nowhere)
- Taking someone from a place that has nothing there to a place of equal appeal (nowhere to nowhere)
Obviously, airlines like to avoid the 3rd option where possible – but it seems that Norwegian are moving slowly away from the taking people from somewhere to nowhere option (where costs are cheaper) to the somewhere to somewhere option. Whilst costs may be more expensive, they are a lot more passenger friendly in terms of accessibility and connectivity.
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